Understanding Hair Growth Cycle

A lot of people want hip bone length hair but in order to achieve this or any other length goals, it is important to understand the natural hair growth cycle.

The reasons why your hair acts a certain way at certain times of the year/over the years are also important.

Understanding hair growth cycle will cover:-

  • The natural hair growth cycle
  • The four phases of the hair growth cycle
  • What each phase means for your hair
  • How you can maximize your hair growth during the phases
Understanding hair growth cycle for longer natural hair

Hair grows when it’s nourished at the base of the follicle (root) by blood vessels.

This nourishment is what enables hair to grow to its maximum nourishment.

That’s why what you do to optimize hair growth internally is just as important as what you apply to your hair externally.

Hair Growth Cycle

Human hair goes through 4 hair growth phases known as anagen, catagen, exogen, and telogen phases.

These phases occur concurrently on every strand of hair on your head. Each strand might be in different phases but they all go through the 4 phases nevertheless. 

If this process didn’t occur independently on each strand, all your hair would fall out at once.

Once the cycle is complete, it begins again and a new strand of hair starts to develop.

The hair on your arms, legs, and face is also subject to the hair growth phase. Let’s look at each phase in detail:

What Are the 4 Stages of the Hair Growth Cycle?

Hair Growth Cycle Phase 1 —Anagen (Growing Phase)

This is the growth phase, which lasts from 2 – 6 years.

The cells at the root of your hair are regenerating speedily. The longer the hair stays in this phase, the longer it will grow.

In the anagen phase, hair grows about half an inch every month.

The lifespan of each strand is pre-determined by genetics. At any point in time, about 85% of our hair strands are in this phase.

Hair Growth Cycle Phase 2 — Catagen (Transition Phase)

This stage is aka the regression stage, which lasts for up to 3 weeks. The hair follicle shrinks and hair growth stops. This phase allows the follicle to renew itself.

Related Hair Growth Resources

Hair Growth Cycle Phase 3 — Telogen (Resting Phase)

At this stage, about 10 – 15% of the hair remains dormant for up to 4 months while new hair begins the growth phase again.

Hair Growth Cycle Phase 4 — Exogen (Shedding Phase)

In this part of the resting phase, the hair strand reaches its terminal length and finally detaches, which results in shedding.

If you look at the hair shed during this period, you will find a hard, dry, and white substance at the root.

This is perfectly normal and no cause for alarm. We lose up to 100 strands of hair every day.

You should be concerned only if huge chunks start coming out. Read Natural Hair Shedding on Wash Day: How Much is Too Much?

So, what do all these phases mean for you and your hair growth goals? As we grow older, the anagen phase decreases, which could lead to weaker hair.

Additionally, when your hair growth cycle is disrupted by things like stress, medication, and drastic life changes, hair loss occurs.

So many things can trigger a disruption, which is covered in greater detail in The Ultimate Hair Growth Guide.

This is where eating all the right things and incorporating maximum healthy hair care practices will make a difference between a rich head of hair and thinning hair.

Every technique you practice should be aimed at restoring and maintaining the natural balance of your hair through all 4 phases.

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